August, 2006 Archive

August 3, 2006, 2:20 pm

Change of Shift – Guest Host!

The next “Change of Shift: A Nursing Blog Carnival” will be hosted by none other than our student nurse colleague, Intelinurse2b at It’s A Nursing Thing!

Remember to get your submissions in early, as the deadline for the carnival is August 9th! You can send them in one of two ways:

Email Intelinurse2b directly at: intelinurse2b at

Or use the Blog Carnival submission form (see sidebar).

Any submissions that come to me through Blog Carnival will be forwarded, so keep those submissions comin’ through!

And a huge Emergiblog hug and saaaaaa-lute! to Intelinurse for her offer to host!

(Oh, and Kenju? That fan is for you!)

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August 2, 2006, 1:46 am

Thinking Different


It was one year ago yesterday that “Emergiblog” was conceived at approximately 0345 in a quiet emergency department.

I was talking about this new “thing” called “blogging” and bemoaning the fact that I didn’t know anything well enough to blog about.

Had I been a cartoon character a light bulb would have shown up above my head.

Now I knew that James Lileks was blogging about everyday life, but there was no way I could make going to Safeway a hilarious anecdote.

The man had the knack.

It was, shall I say, a Homer Simpsom moment, as in:


You’ve been a nurse for, like, three decades. Maybe you could blog about that.


Now…what to call this new creation…..

“Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.”


“Run From This Profession As Fast As You Can”

I didn’t want to scare people off!

And so “Emergiblog” was born.


So now, it’s a year later and Emergiblog is averaging over 300 hits a day, is syndicated through three different outlets, has over 365 posts, birthed a second blog and just went over the seventy-thousand hit mark.

I am one happy campin’ blogger here.

Would you like in on the secrets of success?

The steps are quite simple:

  • Start a blog.
  • Tell your mother you have a blog. It will be all over the wires in ten minutes.
  • Have Bora post a link to your site.
  • Find out who Bora is and thank him profusely!
  • Write a post, any post, about a ruptured spleen. For some reason folks are always searching for information on that.
  • Mention Dorothy Hamill on your site. There. I just guaranteed myself ten thousand hits in the next week.
  • Submit to Grand Rounds on a regular basis. Offer to host. Have Blogger go haywire on you and redo the entire thing. Twice.
  • Consider the hemlock solution and then meet a knight in shining armor (Shane) who offers you an escape from Blogger hell. Take him up on it.
  • Become physically addicted to your laptop.
  • Blog from another country when you are on vacation!
  • Understand that everything you do, see or say is, can be or will be blog fodder.
  • Find a style. Steal a style. But make it your own.

And that is the way to have a successful blog. Find your niche.

Find your style.

Then run with it.

Look, Yoko’s way of singing is wailing and howling. But she inspired the B52s and when John heard them, it inspired him to go back into the studio.

Yoko thinks outside the box.

She also screams outside the box, but that is beside the point. (Love ya, Yoko!)

So here’s to another year of Tales From the Emergency Department with the occasional foray into Notre Dame football and American Idolatry (at which I excel).

To all who read, who link, and who have the guts to speak their minds no matter what their beliefs are: you are what keeps me blogging. You are what keeps the blogosphere a living entity.

And you have all been an inspiration.

Thank you.

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August 1, 2006, 12:23 am

Ninety Eight….Ninety Nine…..


She would certainly have to be a special girl!

I have a hard time being just one nurse, let alone three!

Besides, nurses are women not girls.

Hopefully in this day and age, the distinction is obvious.

The fact that she is three nurses in one could explain the ten inch waist.

Cap gets a 10/10.

Maybe that doll gives her special powers.

Gives me the creeps.

It’s as if Stephen King decided to write a nurse series.

Oooooo….that could be interesting now that I think about it!


Sitting at Starbucks, my defacto Borders boycott ongoing. Tonight it’s Marvin Gaye and Chris Isaak on the speakers. Am I groovin’or what?

And did you know Tom Pettty put out a new album produced by Jeff Lynne? (and a big tip o’ the hat to Beajerry at the Cosmic Watercooler for that info!)

If the above doesn’t make sense, I apologize as it has nothing to do with nursing but the rock-and-roller that exists just below my facade of domesticity and respectability is totally thrilled and had to make an appearance on my blog.


I’m pretty happy but rather perplexed. The Cherry Ames series has been re-released and is available on but I was under the impression it had been updated to reflect the reality of today’s nurse.

It appears that they are the same as the ones we read as kids.

No matter. Buy a few for the eight and nine-year old girls you know. Let’s get the next generation of girls thinking about nursing as a career. Better yet, give them to some eight or nine-year-old boys and tell them the adventure can be theirs now, too!

Now there’s an idea. A series for boys about a male nurse. I’m serious……maybe I could write it….hey, you guys out there! Think it would fly?

Maybe we’ll even see a resurgence of caps! For the women, of course.

And you know how I feel about that!


Oh, and there is a new post up at Scared to Health and I’d like to thank Enrico over at Mexico Medical Student for pointing out something I should have thought of long ago. You can see it in the comments under the post. I’m so embarassed I did not think of it before now.


I’ve had a very unusual run of patients in the last few weeks. Nonagenarians.

Yep, folks in their nineties.

Unusual because they aren’t the stereotypical bed-ridden nursing home patients with eternal urosepsis.

These are alert, oriented, independent, vibrant elderly people.

They live alone or with their kids. But very, very independent.

There is something I have noticed about this generation; those who range from about 88 to 100: they are tough!

They don’t make a huge deal about what could be a very painful situation.

I mentioned to one patient that it seemed to me that people in their nineties, as she was, were often suffering internally more than they let on externally via grimacing or moaning.

She nodded. Her pain was a 10/10 and the only reason she was in the ER was that she couldn’t manage the pain at home at that point.

She had leg pain and was taking medication for it.

Oh, but during the eight hours of pain-free time that the medication gave her during the day she had: vacuumed her entire house, knelt in her garden for two hours, did some wash and got some windows clean.

I got tired just writing that sentence.

These are amazing people. Just look at all they have lived through…..

They have seen life go from horse-and-buggy to international travel in one day. From party-lines to cell phones and e-mail. From watching people die of gastroenteritis to surviving the most invasive cancers via chemotherapy. They lived through the depression, two World Wars, the fear of nuclear extermination during the Cold War and everything that we younger folks remember.

These people do not complain. I swear it is a generational trait.

And our nonagenarians are national treasures. The stories they tell….history? They lived it! And this is really our last chance to actually hear it from those who made it.

Precious are the times when the ER is slow and I can sit and listen to a patient discuss his time in the Pacific or Europe during World War II. Or what life was like back on the farm……

Or sit with a dying nonagenarian and have his wife and children and grandchildren tell me stories about his childhood and what he did for a living for fifty years and how he managed to keep gardening until just last week…

Or in my grandfather’s case (he is 90), what it was like to live through the Dust Bowl and travel out to California. When you did what you had to do to make money to live. None of this “on the dole” business. If you had to work seventy hours to make a living then that is just what you did. And you didn’t gripe about it, either. You were thankful you had a job.

(Oh, and for the record, he’s lived through bladder cancer, prostate cancer, a hip replacement and six months of G-tube feedings, which he did by himself once he was strong enough and recovered from the small stroke that caused the swallowing problem and is now tube free.)

We just don’t make them like that anymore.

Let’s treasure them while we can whether they are in our family….

…..or on our gurneys.

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About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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